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2017

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CULTURE VULTURE 2017


In our sixth annual deep dive into the
big trends pervading U.S. culture, we
explore how growth is stalling across
many facets of life, the new definition
of the American Dream, an increasing
tension among consumers perceptions
of the world, and how weve become
better at managing stress (along with
other interesting things, like exposing
the lies of unicorns).

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02

01

THE
BOOMAISSANCE

TAPPED OUT

03
21ST CENTURY
SUCCESS

TOP
CULTURAL
TRENDS

04
UNMASKING
UNICORNS

05

06

07

MY WORLD/
THE WORLD

MIND(FUL)
OPTIMIZATION

LAND OF
THE GIANTS

08
THE INFORMAL
NORMAL

09

10

BORECORE

OPEN LIVES

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01

TAPPED OUT

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Following World War II, the global


economy reached unprecedented
levels of success. From education
to motorways, drastic improvements
to public infrastructures around
the world led to more profitable
businesses, rewarding millions of
people with great wealth.

Today, weve exhausted the


number of big fundamental
changes we can make to U.S.
infrastructure, causing economic
productivity to drop to a 30-year
low. Along with an aging workforce,
this limits our GDP growth to less
than 2% annually. And its not only
the U.S.; other first-world places
like Japan and Western Europe
are also struggling to boost
economic output.
As a result, our economic optimism
has plateaued, with 41% of
Americans feeling that they wont
be any better or worse off in the
next year, nearly double that of
2009 (23%). Additionally, several
TAPPED OUT

categories, such as automotive,


grocery, and apparel, all hit sales
plateaus in 2015.
Not only is our economy limited
but we as human beings are as
well. From memory to attention,
we only have so much cognitive
energy and time at our disposal.
Unsurprisingly, 67% of Americans
say that they are so busy that they
cant finish everything they need to
in a day. Our time spent with media
is reaching its saturation point,
with people averaging about 10
hours each day consuming content.
Technology penetration is also
stalling. Along with smartphone
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Average daily time spent with media


(Hours)

9.05

2010

9.21

2011

9.53

9.62

9.82

9.84

2012

2013

2014

2015

Source: Media Dynamics

adoption, the average number of apps


used each month has slowed to single-digit
growth. This is happening in social media
usage as wellthe vast majority of Americans
participate in at least one social platform.
While many facets of our lives are stalling,
new technology is emerging to break
through the plateaus. Currently, growth is
fueled by the continuing popularity of the
sharing economy, ongoing opportunities
for virtual reality, and new applications of
artificial intelligence. n

TAPPED OUT

IMPLICATIONS
01

Hunt harder to find pockets of growth


(e.g. consider different targets).

02

Brands must be more competitive and faster


in a low-growth world.

03

Get ahead of emerging categories before


those opportunities become tapped out.

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THE QUARTER CENTURY FROM


1948-1973 WAS THE MOST STRIKING
STRETCH OF ECONOMIC ADVANCE
IN HUMAN HISTORY. IN THE SPAN OF
A SINGLE GENERATION, HUNDREDS OF
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WERE LIFTED
FROM PENURY TO UNIMAGINED RICHES.
The Wall Street Journal

Annual GDP growth


(% Five-year moving average)

11
USA

Japan

Western Europe

9
7
5
3
1

2014

2015

2013

2011

2012

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2004

2005

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1994

1995

1993

1992

1991

1990

1989

1988

1987

1986

1984

1985

1983

1982

1981

1980

1979

1978

1977

1976

1974

1975

1973

1972

1971

1970

1969

1968

1967

1966

1965

-1

Source: World Bank, Mindshare Analysis

TAPPED OUT

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02

THE BOOMAISSANCE

You cant go anywhere without


incessantly hearing the word
Millennial. In fact, Millennials were
mentioned 3.5 times more in articles
over the past year than Boomers.
Why do we continually ignore Boomers
when they control about 70% of the
disposable income in America?

Well, the times are a-changin as


being older is becoming cooler,
making Boomers more relevant for
brands. The music festival Desert
Trip, also known as OldChella,
premiered in 2016 featuring music
icons like the Rolling Stones, Paul
McCartney, and Bob Dylan. This
year also marked a graying of the
fashion and beauty industries with
more older models being featured
in New York Fashion Week and
gray becoming one of the hottest
hair color trends.
Not only do we get cooler with age;
studies show that we also become
happier. The Happiness U Curve
shows that our happiness peaks
THE BOOMAISSANCE

not during our 20s and 30s but


when we hit our 60s and beyond.
With heightened coolness and
happiness, Boomers are taking
on a Middle-Age Millennial
mindset, driving tech growth
in many areas. Over the past
several years, theyve showed the
sharpest increases in e-commerce
activity, time spent in mobile apps,
and social media penetration.
Theyre also changing how we
communicate online, from a
more narcissistic tone to a
friendlier, community-driven one.
Though the population is aging,
Boomers refuse to settle down.
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Self-reported well-being
(On a scale of 1-10, by age)

7.4
7.2
7.0
6.8
6.6
6.4
6.2
6.0

-2
22 1
-2
26 5
-2
30 9
-3
34 3
-3
38 7
-4
42 1
-4
46 5
-4
50 9
-5
54 3
-5
58 7
-6
62 1
-6
66 5
-6
70 9
-7
74 3
-7
78 7
-8
82 1
-8
5

Angus Deaton
Economist, Princeton University

7.6

18

You accumulate emotional


wisdom as you get older. You
know, when youre 25, you go
on blind dates with people that,
when youre 50, you know to
stay away from. You just learn
how to live your life better.

Source: Proceeding of National Academy of Sciences

They are striking back using the gig


economy, with about one in four working in
alternative arrangements in 2015. Startups
are also realizing the value of this segment
and catering to their needs. Evelo makes
bicycles specifically for older consumers
who want to stay healthy. Another example
is the Freebird Club, the Airbnb for empty
nesters, which allows Boomers to rent
out their kids vacant rooms. n

IMPLICATIONS

THE BOOMAISSANCE

01

Dont underestimate the value of Boomersmake


sure your brand has a strategy to reach this audience.

02

Utilize the positivity and happiness of Boomers


as positive/wise influencers.

03

Take a Boomer view of the world in research


and media.

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JUST AS ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW


PRECISELY WHEN THAT MINOR
BALD PATCH BEGAN TO ANNEX
YOUR ENTIRE SCALP, ITS HARD TO
PINPOINT THE EXACT MOMENT
WHEN BEING OLD BECAME A HOT
NEW TREND IN AMERICA.
GQ

U.S. Adults who use social networking sites, by age


(%)

100

18-29

90

30-49

50-64

65+

80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
2005

2006

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Note: No data available for 2007 - Source: Pew Research

THE BOOMAISSANCE

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03

st

21 CENTURY SUCCESS

We once viewed the American Dream


as owning a home, a car, and nice
clothing to keep up with the Joneses.
However, over the years, this definition
has changed drastically, becoming less
about material goods and more about
self-fulfillment.

Partly driving this trend is


Millennials new definition of
career success. Salary has taken a
backseat to work-life balance and
job satisfaction; theyre more willing
to take time off to pursue personal
projects. Shifting gender roles
have also changed how different
sexes view success. As more
women focus on their careers,
theyre beginning to close the
wage gap, particularly younger
women. Men, in contrast, are
placing more value on relationships
and family life, areas that were
once seen as womens domain.
Companies are paying attention
to these changes, adapting their
21st CENTURY SUCCESS

offerings to attract younger talent.


Amazon is testing 30-hour work
weeks with flexible schedules, and
Netflix is offering one year of paid
paternity and maternity leaves for
new parents.
Consumers are also turning
away from obvious symbols and
representations of success. One
example is branding and logos,
which carry less weight for those
looking for design and function to
match their identity and lifestyle.
Additionally, toys like Barbie and
supermodels like Ashley Graham
have transformed our old notions of
what a successful body looks like.
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Would consider taking time off for project


(% Any Agree)

2013

2014

2015

2016

67
58
48

43

Millennials

47

Gen X

46

Boomers

Source: Mindshare Mindreader

The way people are spending their time and


money has also changed. Now, people invest
in ethically responsible companies and use
their vacation time to help others.
Still, the old American Dream prevails
elsewhere. Multicultural citizens and
immigrants (70% of immigrants are either
Hispanic or Asian) see the American Dream
as its traditional definition. Owning a home,
car, and luxury clothing are all still markers
of success for these consumers. n

21st CENTURY SUCCESS

IMPLICATIONS
01

Success isnt one size fits all, especially in


the current political environment.

02

Understand that growth is coming from different


consumers. Put more emphasis on learning what
cultural differences drive success.

03

How does your category fit into the


new definition of success?

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WHILE THE CACHET OF DESIGNER LOGOS


IS STILL RELEVANT FOR MANY,
THE DAYS OF CONSUMERS LOOKING
TO BE A PART OF A DESIGNER OR
BRAND MOVEMENT ARE WANING
IN FAVOR OF THEIR DESIRE TO FIND
THE STYLE AND FUNCTION UNIQUE TO
THEIR PERSONALITY AND LIFESTYLE.
Marshal Cohen,
Chief Retail Analyst, NPD Group

How Millennials define career success


(%)

44

43
35
27

Work-life balance Job satisfaction

Salary/salary
growth

Achievement of
personal goals

25

24

Work
achievements

Development of
new skills
Source: KPMG

21st CENTURY SUCCESS

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04

UNMASKING UNICORNS

People tend to hold onto


preconceived notions even after
evidence disproves their beliefs.
Its become even harder to decipher
whats true with an influx of
contradictory information in the
digital age.

While the lines between fact and


fiction continue to blur, several
common myths need immediate
debunking. The first myth gaining
attention in wake of the 2016
presidential election is that
immigration is destroying America.
However, immigrants are actually
saving the economy, starting
more businesses and fueling
employment in an aging workforce.
Next, Americans tend to classify
themselves as middle class, yet
the true middle class has shrunk
over the past several decades.
The traditional family has also
drastically changed: half of all
newborns are ethnic minorities;
UNMASKING UNICORNS

about 40% of families in the


U.S. have mothers as the
primary breadwinner; and
one in five Americans live in a
multigenerational household.
Speaking of generations, theres
also a lot of misconceptions about
younger ones. Teens, who are
typically regarded as wild and
rebellious, are more responsible
today than ever before. Millennials
are also heavily stereotyped with
the notions that they arent buying
homes, are constantly job hopping,
and are the hookup generation,
yet these assumptions arent
exactly true.
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Marketers beliefs vs. reality


(# Minutes watching video)

Marketers Think

Consumer Actuals

81

62

16
8

VOD Daily Viewing Time

YouTube Daily Viewing Time


Source: ThinkTV

Demographics arent the only myths that


need to be debunked. In terms of food
trends, faux-healthy treats (e.g. banana ice
cream and zucchini noodles) lead many
to believe that theyre eating healthier, yet
consumers eat 35% more when a snack
is labeled as healthy. Furthermore, the
ubiquity of online content has led people
to believe that print is dead. However, print
book sales have experienced a resurgence
over the past several years.
Misconceptions occur in media and
marketing as well. Much of the time, theres
a tendency to rely on assumptions that
dont necessarily align with the consumers
reality, putting more emphasis on thoroughly
understanding our audiences. n

UNMASKING UNICORNS

IMPLICATIONS
01

Challenge everythingthink about assumptions


youre making in your category and target. How
can you use data to either prove or disprove them?

02

Reconsider traditional no-go areas.


Reevaluate what consumers do and do not
want to see from brands.

03

Reassess what it means to advertise post-election.

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PEOPLE TEND TO HOLD ON


TO BELIEFS EVEN WHEN IT APPEARS
THAT THEY SHOULDNT.
Craig A. Anderson
Psychologist, Iowa State University

Household ownership by age group


(# HH in millions)
25

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Median age of first-time home buyers

20

15

10

30.6

31

1970

2015

0
25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

Source: University of Pennsylvania, Nerd Wallet

UNMASKING UNICORNS

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05

MY WORLD/THE WORLD

We perceive reality through two


world lenses: the individual world
focuses on how things appear on a
personal level, while the societal
world projects a macro perspective.
The growing dissonance between
these worlds causes tension for
American consumers.

Most Americans feel pretty good


in their individual world. About
85% of adults say that they are
satisfied with their personal life,
up from 78% in 2011. Median
household income is also rising,
hitting $56,516 in 2015the highest
it has been since 2007. And across
generations, workers are more
likely to say that their job is good.
However, the societal world is
looking less optimistic. Only 29%
of Americans are satisfied with
the U.S.s direction, down from
59% in 2000. Theres a growing
apprehension toward the outside
world, with fear of terrorism hitting
its highest point since 9/11. Plus,
MY WORLD/THE WORLD

the majority of Americans worry


about global economic instability,
with powerhouses like China and
Russia emerging as severe threats.
Consumers are also less trusting
of institutions. Banks, government,
and organized religion have all
seen sharp declines in trust over
the past several years. And in 2016,
mass media reached its lowest
consumer trust levels on record.
Though technology has connected
us to people around the world,
there is now a pushback against
the globalization trend. Theres
a desire for more isolation,
demonstrated in the rhetoric of
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Trust in institutions
(%)

27%

19%

40%

41%

Banks

Government

(vs. 49% 2006)

(vs. 30% 2006)

Mass
media

Organized
religion

(vs. 49% 2006)

(vs. 52% 2006)

Source: Gallup, Pew Research

the Trump presidential campaign and Britains


Brexit from the European Union.
The tension between our two worlds has
evoked outrage in consumers, but brands
are finding creative ways to play into both.
Snickers Hungerithm lowers its price at
7/11 as the Internet gets angrier. Uber also
played into consumer frustration on crowded
highways with drone ads, taunting drivers
for not using their carpool service. n

MY WORLD/THE WORLD

IMPLICATIONS
01

Understand that consumers have an underlying


desire for change and determine how we as
marketers can bring that sense into the forefront.

02

With increasing skepticism of institutions, how


do you reevaluate your role in consumers lives?

03

Use the opportunity to show support and


celebrate the American worker.

| 22

GLOBALIZATION IS UNDER ATTACK.


THE ELECTORAL VICTORY OF
DONALD TRUMP, THE BREXIT VOTE
AND THE RISE OF AN AGGRESSIVE
NATIONALISM IN MAINLAND EUROPE
AND AROUND THE WORLD ARE ALL PART
OF A BACKLASH TO GLOBALIZATION.
John Rennie Short, Professor of Public Policy
at University of Maryland

Median HHI in the U.S.


($)

$56,516
$53,568

2010

$52,751

$52,666

$52,850

2011

2012

2013

$53,718

2014

2015

Source: U.S. Census

MY WORLD/THE WORLD

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06

MIND(FUL) OPTIMIZATION

As humans, were more prone


to anxiety than to happiness.
And Americans are especially known
for having higher anxiety levels
than people in other countries,
partly because of our continued
quest for happiness.

Many feel as though they live in


a stressed-out country, leading
them to believe that North America
as a whole is more stressed than
ever. Surprisingly, stress levels have
actually been on the decline,
with our current stress level at
4.9 (out of 10) down from 6.2 in
2007. While these stress levels
are still above a healthy level (3.7),
we seem to be getting better at
managing stress.
Though were not as stressed
statistically, weve become
increasingly distracted, causing
us to seek purpose, serenity,
and mindfulness more than ever.
Whether that means sending our
MIND(FUL) OPTIMIZATION

kids to outdoor/nature preschools,


partaking in the practice of
Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing),
or being part of the astrotourism
community, were looking for better
overall balance. New wellness
communities are also developing,
often driven by technology. For
example, theres the ear-pleasing
Autonomous Sensory Meridian
Response (ASMR) community on
YouTube and even meditation
channels on live-streaming sites
like Periscope.
While 45% of Americans try to
unplug from technology about once
a week, ironically, tech is actually
aiding mindfulness in
| 25

58%
Gen Xers describe purpose as a value that
describes them in 2015
(up from 48% in 2010)

59%
Millennials describe serenity as a value that
describes them in 2015
(up from 51% in 2010)

Source: Mindshare Moments, Iconoculture

many ways. Apps such as Headspace and


guided virtual reality mediation are some
ways that people are improving their mental
health by reconnecting.
Part of reconnecting to ones own mind
is to improve it, and more products and
services are available to help boost our
cognitive capabilities. Peak is an app that
created brain games through a partnership
with scientists at top universities like Yale
and Cambridge. Another example is the
emerging market of nootropics, pills that are
intended to help enhance focus, memory,
and overall cognitive function. n

MIND(FUL) OPTIMIZATION

IMPLICATIONS
01

Think about mindfulness and what it means


for your category, brand, and consumer.

02

Consider when your messages are deployed


and have breaks to respect the consumers
personal space.

03

Dont promise that happiness is attainable


through the pursuit of things. Flip the script
and let consumers know what the thing
enables them to do.

| 26

WHILE THE TYPES OF STRESSORS


HUMANS ARE EXPOSED TO HAVE
CHANGED OVER TIME, OUR STRESS
RESPONSE HAS ESSENTIALLY NOT
CHANGED AT ALL. INSIDE OF EACH
MODERN HUMAN IS THE NERVOUS
SYSTEM OF A CAVEMAN TRYING
TO COPE WITH THE STRESSORS
OF LIVING IN A FAST-PACED AND
RAPIDLY-EVOLVING SOCIETY.
Kinsey Jackson, Clinical Nutritionist

Average stress level


(Scale 1-10)

Women

6.3

Men

6.2

5.6

5.5

5.7
5.2

5.4

5.5
5.3

5.2

5.3
4.8

2008

2009

2010

2011

4.9

4.8
4.6

2007

5.3

2012

4.5
2013

2014

2015

Source: American Psychological Association

MIND(FUL) OPTIMIZATION

| 27

07

LAND OF THE GIANTS

During the Second Industrial


Revolution, the U.S. economy was
reshaped by the expansion of
new industries and technologies.
Competing in this growing landscape,
a few companies have emerged
as core leaders.

That period may have happened


over a century ago, but it still
rings true for many of our
industries today. From airlines
to entertainment to agriculture,
consolidations and acquisitions
have created corporate giants
that dominate their respective
categories. And in the digital
age, these giants have shifted
from primarily energy companies
in 2006 to technology brands
in 2016, specifically Apple,
Alphabet (Google), Microsoft,
Amazon, and Facebook.
These tech giants have not only
established themselves as global
powerhouses but they also have
LAND OF THE GIANTS

billions of dollars on hand, making


them difficult to battle. For example,
Apple has over $230 billion in
the bank stowed away to use at
their discretion. Their ecosystems
continue to expand as well.
Amazon, which started by selling
books, is now a key distributor
across almost every vertical, from
cloud computing to fashion.
These giants continue to expand
into new territories, such as
Amazons expansion into the
physical retail space, Facebooks
integration with eSports, and
Alphabets development of
self-driving cars. While expanding
into new sectors, these brands
| 29

E-commerce
Book & Audible

App Store
Auto

Live Stream
ECOSYSTEM
Food Delivery

Fashion

Home Robotics
Consumer Electronics

TV Programming
Grocery Delivery

Business Services

Cloud Computing

are also cutting out the middlemen in the


distribution and purchase cycles, such as
Amazon implementing in-house shipping
or Alphabet allowing users to buy clothing
directly from Google Images.
But while these giants control much of
the market, niche brands have collective
power to chip away at bigger businesses.
For example, craft beer has been steadily
stealing share away from large brands such
as Budweiser and Miller. And the trend of
gourmet burger joints is hurting fast food
giants like McDonalds and Burger King. n

LAND OF THE GIANTS

IMPLICATIONS
01

How do you play up the positives of your


position in the market (e.g. scale in leadership
brands, building niche/challenger brands, etc.)?

02

Understand where consumers want niche


brands and places where mass isnt good.

03

Consider other challenger brands that


you can associate your brand with.

| 30

IN 1860-1917 THE GLOBAL ECONOMY


WAS RESHAPED BY THE RISE OF GIANT
NEW INDUSTRIES (STEEL AND OIL)
AND REVOLUTIONARY NEW
TECHNOLOGIES (ELECTRICITY AND
THE COMBUSTION ENGINE). THESE
DISRUPTIONS LED TO BRIEF BURSTS
OF COMPETITION FOLLOWED BY
PROLONGED PERIODS OF OLIGOPOLY.
The Economist

Worlds most valuable public companies


($ Billions)

Oil/Energy

Tech

Financial Service

Conglomerate

$571
$531

2006

2016
$446

$363

$349

$362

$356

$356

$279
$231

ExxonMobil General Electric

Microsoft

Citigroup

$226

BP

$204

Royal Dutch Shell

Apple

Alphabet

Microsoft

Amazon

ExxonMobil

Facebook

Source: Yahoo Finance, Forbes

LAND OF THE GIANTS

| 31

08

THE INFORMAL NORMAL

The social contract that once held


together a formal structure of
American institutions is unraveling.
From family to religion, American
traditions continue to break down
into more informal interpretations.

Recently, gender has lost its


binary nature with the rise in
post-gender baby names and
the legal recognition of nonbinary gender classification in
certain states. And brands are
acknowledging this trend
CoverGirl, for example, announced
its first CoverBoy, James Charles.
Overall, theres less deference
toward established conventions.
Certain aspects of politics have
become more casual, such as
Hillary Clinton appearing on
Between Two Ferns with Zach
Galifianakis and Donald Trump
addressing the public via Twitter
rather than in traditional forums.
THE INFORMAL NORMAL

Our relaxed viewpoint has carried


over to substances as well.
Twenty-six states have marijuana
legalization laws in some form.
In fact, informality is really a core
American principle, fostering
creativity, individuality, and
community. And fashion is an
exemplary category. Casual
clothing offers us the freedom to
choose how we present ourselves
both at home and in the workplace.
Furthermore, Millennials are
redefining what it means to be
professional, with nearly two-thirds
saying that they curse at work and
half admitting to being friends with
their boss on Facebook.
| 33

71%
Parents are comfortable with
visible tattoos on their childs
primary school teacher

42%

66%
Millennials use curse words or
swear while at work

Workers are friends with their


current boss or supervisor on
Facebook

(vs. 54% of Baby Boomers)


(up to 50% for Millennials)

Source: Harris, Fortune, Mindshare Pool

The rise of normcore finds appeal in


the bland and everyday rather than the
glamorous and flashy. Teens are also moving
away from depending on looks to define
who they are. This comes to life in platforms
like Snapchat, shifting user content away
from pretentious selfies toward fun and
quirky filter use, changing the overall
aesthetic of social media.
Also displayed in the digital space, the world
of linguistics continues to break down.
No longer is communication tied to the
AP style guide. We now have more freedom
to experiment with fonts, punctuation, and
imagery in the way we type and post. n

THE INFORMAL NORMAL

IMPLICATIONS
01

Determine how your brand can be irreverent.

02

Casual forms of language arent just for


Millennials; theyre for everyone and can fit
into every category, including luxury.

03

Identify where a laid-back approach is or is


not appropriate for your category and brand.

| 34

CLOTHES ARE FREEDOM


FREEDOM TO CHOOSE HOW WE
PRESENT OURSELVES TO THE WORLD;
FREEDOM TO BLUR THE LINES
BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN,
OLD AND YOUNG, RICH AND POOR.
TO DRESS CASUAL IS QUINTESSENTIALLY
TO DRESS AS AN AMERICAN AND
TO LIVE, OR TO DREAM OF LIVING,
FAST AND LOOSE AND CAREFREE.
Deirdre Clemente, Author, Dress Casual:
How College Kids Redefined American Style

46%
American kids live in a home
with two married heterosexual
parents in their first marriage

23%
Americans are religiously
unaffiliated
(up from 16% in 2007)

(down from 61% in 1980)

Source: Pew Research

THE INFORMAL NORMAL

| 35

09

BORECORE

We arent as interesting as we
think we are. According to Daniel
Kahnemans Peak-End theory,
our experiences are defined by
a few intense moments in our lives.
We tend to neglect the rest.

Most of our lives happen between


these peaks, and people are
beginning to embrace the lulls.
In the past, people felt a need to
justify their lives by always trying
to do something interesting. Social
media has changed what people
expect to see, causing those
pressures to subside. Now, youre
just as likely to see posts about
bingeing on Netflix as you are
about going to the latest clubs.
Borecore is partly a backlash to
FOMO and partly about embracing
the banality of everyday life.
Were also gravitating toward
boring yet relatable characters in
pop culture. In Stranger Things,
BORECORE

Barb, a side character with few


lines, became the second most
talked about character from the
show. Another example is The
Life of Norman subreddit, which
posts about the ordinary life of
a middle-aged balding man who
watches re-runs of CSI. And its
not just fictional peoplereal idols
such as singer, actress, and top
Instagrammer Selena Gomez talks
about relaxing at home and often
posts about her quiet nights in.
Livestreaming has really embraced
banality, showing us life as it is,
sans scripts and editing. Passive
cameras capture nature as it
happens and makes the content go
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PEOPLE ARE AFRAID THAT IF THEY


DONT TWEET OR BLOG REGULARLY
THEY WILL SIMPLY GO OFF THE SOCIAL
RADAR AND BECOME INVISIBLE
THE ONLINE YOU IS FREE FROM THE
OFF-LINE PRESSURE OF HAVING TO
BE WITTY, ENTERTAINING OR
INTERESTING IN SOCIAL SITUATIONS.
The Spectator

viral, like the six-hour Periscope video of a


puddle in England. People are also using
long-form live reading to draw attention
to reports and contracts that most people
would typically ignore. Being interesting
is no longer a requirement for expressing
yourself online or in content. n

IMPLICATIONS

BORECORE

01

Brands can use boring content to be


different and grab consumers attention.

02

Tie your brand to peak moments


in consumers lives.

03

Highlight the therapeutic benefits of


boring yet mesmerizing content.

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WHAT PEOPLE REMEMBER FROM


EVENTS ARE THEIR PEAKS. NO PEAKS NO MEMORIES, OR AT LEAST NOT VERY
CRISP ONES CERTAINLY BUCKET
LISTS SET MEMORIES IN PLACE THAT
STRUCTURE LIFE AS REMEMBERED.
Christopher Peterson Ph.D.
University of Michigan
professor of psychology

20somethings engage in each activity


(# Minutes per day)

2004

2015
22
18

16

15
9

Attending or hosting social


events on holidays or
weekends

Playing video games or


board games

Computer use for leisure

Source: BLS

BORECORE

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10

OPEN LIVES

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Social media has opened us up to


the world. As technology continues
to evolve, were both accepting and
fearful of our openness to it.

Thanks to livestreaming, friends


and strangers alike can see
exactly what youre doing at any
given time. Ambient listening
has exposed us even further
were willingly offering up more
information and giving up control
to new tech, seen in Alofts voiceactivated hotel room and smart
devices like Amazons Alexa.
Not only do these machines
respond to our requests but they
use AI and machine learning to
understand our habits.
However, consumers are wary
of technology and companies
using their personal data, fearing
leaks that can compromise their
OPEN LIVES

information. Companies should


be careful when mining information
from consumers, as it can be
confusing and invasive. The
Facebook app asks for 42 different
permissions alone, ranging from
battery statistics to learning what
other apps are running.
Consumers are now becoming
savvier about how brands access
and use their sensitive personal
information. If consumers are
uncertain of a brands intentions,
they lose trust. Consequently,
people are trying to protect
themselves by utilizing ad-blocking
software and putting tape over
their webcams.
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Ambient listening

Safety zones

Voice activated
hotel rooms

Instagrams filter

Amazon Alexa
sales rose 67%

Driverless cars

Blizzards comment
replacement

Twitters mute button

To prevent hostility and backlash, brands


have started to combat some of the
negative consequences of being too open.
Instagram and Twitter have added features
to block and remove unwanted comments
and users. Gaming company Blizzard has
gone so far as to replace hateful messages
with self-deprecating ones within their
online chats.
Beyond technology, Millennials have
become more open to discussing
traditionally taboo subjects like mental
health, politics, money, and religion. n

OPEN LIVES

IMPLICATIONS
01

Develop a strategy for how your brand


can grab hold of the livestreaming trend.

02

Make trust one of your brand metrics.

03

Build a community of current, trusted


consumers and engage with them regularly.

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IVE ALWAYS BEEN AN OPEN BOOK,


BUT SOCIAL MEDIA CRACKS THE
BINDING WAY OPEN. IF YOU THINK
PEOPLE ARE NOT WATCHING WHAT
YOU DO, THEY ARE. YOU CANNOT
HIDE BEHIND A COMPUTER SCREEN.
Lynne Jarman Johnson
CMO of Consumers Credit Union

529,000
Accounts created on Facebook Live
after its third month of launch

The internet was built for openness


and speed, not for security. As more
and more services, infrastructure
and personal information move
online, they have all become targets
for hackers.
The New York Times

Source: Tublar Labs

OPEN LIVES

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SUMMARY
Technology plays a part, but at the
end of the day its human behavior
that shapes marketing and media
strategies. Current trends are giving
you plenty of material to work with.
Contact us for the latest trends as
they rise in the cultural zeitgeist.

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